God's Answer to Mum Guilt

By breakfast there was already a good handful of guilt: sleeping-in means Daddy has to get up with the kids. I open my eyes and see housework jobs I hadn’t finished yesterday. I get downstairs and there are questions about things I’m getting ready for VBS—have I done it well enough, is there something I’ve missed? By lunch it’s an armful of guilt, by mid-afternoon I’m beginning to feel weighed down and by the kids’ bedtimes, yet again I’m only able to see the world through the familiar lens ‘I’m not good enough’.

It’s true there’s always something we can feel guilty about as a Mum. Whether it’s what we’ve forgotten, or the jobs that didn’t get ticked off the list, the skill we notice in another child that our own hasn’t yet mastered, or the unconscious ideal we have not lived up to, the responsibilities of a Mum lend themselves to guilt. A Mum’s responsibilities are open ended, difficult to measure, hard to quantify and that’s before adding additional needs into the equation.

The world around me can make me feel I ought to be and need to be super-Mum. There is an unspoken pressure to be on top of everything, to be organized, efficient, calm at all times—and yet assertive, child-led yet providing boundaries; laid back yet strict, always wise, unflustered, unafraid, and confident. And as a Mum to children with additional needs, I also need to be fiercely protective, well-read and understanding, gentle yet fighting for what my child needs.

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In preparing for Sunday’s service and next week’s holiday club at church, I’ve been thinking about the remarkable fact that God is for us. This is a truth that’s easy enough to believe for others and to rejoice in for them. God sees those society passes by, He gathers the lost and the little ones, His love is deep and relentless after those He’s saving. But perhaps the fact that God is for us is not a truth I take on board as true for me very often.

So, what do you think? With God on our side, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! (Romans 8:31).

In the midst of the mundane, God is for me, encouraging me on, loving the very best out of me. In the frustrations and genuine failures, God is coaching me and giving me what I need. In the moments of victory, God is cheering with me. When I feel downhearted and disillusioned, God sees the one He created and has always loved. When I feel empty, God provides. When I feel I have let everyone down, that I am a disappointment, God calls me by name and lifts me up, and honors me again. The truth is He chose me—not because I was good enough, but because He loves. And His love is not conditional on my achievements or success. His love seeks me out, cheers me on, and rejoices with me. God is for me!

See more of Cathy Porter’s work at https://clearlynurturing.wordpress.com/.